After ten years of suffering, the Israeli Occupation Authorities re-open Halhul’s town northern entrance

After ten years of suffering, the Israeli Occupation Authorities re-open Halhul’s town northern entrance
Al Hawawer, is the northern entrance to Halhul town, and is considered the main entrance since it connects Halhul, Hebron, and all the towns and villages in southern West Bank with areas in Northern West Bank through the by-pass road ’60’.
  • The distance between Al Hawawer earthmound to Al Nabi Younis triangle is 2,821 meters.
  • The distance between Al Hawawer earthmound and the military checkpoint on Road 60 is 2,434 meters. 
  • The distance between Al Nabi Younis triangle and Al Nabi Younis checkpoint is 2,372 meters.

Map 1: An aerial photo depicting Al Hawawer entrance 

Event: the Israeli Occupation Authorities re-opened the northern entrance of Halhul town after ten years of closure using huge rocks, cement blocks, and earth mounds. The rocks and earth were extracted from a nearby farm.

Photo 1: Al Hawawer reopened of one side

The re-opening of the vital entrance happened after 5 years of demands made by Halhul Municipality alongside various international organizations.
The closure caused extreme restrictions on movement of Palestinians wishing to travel north. Palestinians used to leave their cars near the earth mound and walk their way out of Halhul. As an alternative, people started using ‘Nabi Yunis’ entrance which doubles the distance and it was never designed for such mass traffic.
Photo 3: Al Hawawer Entrance
Photo 4: Al Hawawere Street: vacant after the closure

Halhul Municipality head, Dr. Ziyad Abu Yusif, stated to the media that a couple of months earlier, the Occupation Authorities allowed them to re-open the entrance on condition that they remove the blockage themselves and put the needed directions in the area. Dr. Abu Yusif said that opening the entrance will be conducted in two phases; first, it will be used only as an entrance. Then, two months later, traffic on both directions will be permitted.
In an interview with LRC field researcher Dr. Abu Yusif gave the following account: ‘ This entrance (Al Hawawer) is considered the aorta of the road network in the area. Its ten years closure caused catastrophic impact on the economy of the northern part of Halhul. The renovation costs of the entrance were around 70000 USD’.
Local drivers have expressed cautious optimism, as they are still banned from leaving the town through this entrance towards Bethlehem. The alternative Nabi Yunis road  is still used for departure.
Palestinian drivers showed a tiny bit of optimism since the entrance has become one way and dealing with the Occupation Authorities for a long time taught the people distrusting them. Simply, they will never know if it will stay open. The shopkeepers and businesses such as the gasoline station, marble and stone processing plant and owners of a number of small workshops who have suffered so much over ten years of closure are now in need of big cash to re-open and operate their facilities, and the same time, not sure if this will last long. As a result, none of them is taking the risk of reinitiating his business.
For further information on this issue, please read LRC’s case study entitled: The continuation of closing the northern entrance of Halhul city caused complete paralyzing of activities in the city and the surroundings ,March 2008.

Categories: Checkpoints